Did you know that Florida has 21 native species of the milkweed that is essential for monarch butterflies but only three are available from nurseries: They lay eggs on milkweed and it is the only food for monarch larvae. Black swallowtail caterpillars feeding on parsley are sometimes mistaken for monarchs, to which they bear a passing resemblance.
Below is a photo of an iridescent atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala) aka coontie hairstreak. Jane Higgins, in her riveting presentation at the September meeting mentioned them. Below are links to two fascinating pages you’ll enjoy. They are still considered rare, so be on the lookout and report sightings by emailing
Sandy Koi or Donald W. Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida and authors of the “Featured Creatures” article.